Eyes of Red

Sheila glanced at the clock, her brow furrowed with worry. She sent Martha out more than an hour ago to get something to eat. It shouldn’t have taken this long. Sheila had painstakingly taught the girl about the best and worst places to go.

In spite of her misgivings, it had been right to send Martha out. The girl was wasting away. She slept constantly. Sheila would come home to find the girl languidly sprawled in bed or on the couch while scrolling through Facebook or Instagram and checking out Snapchat. It was infuriating. Sheila wondered if the girl had lost the use of her legs.

Martha was little more than a child and innocent in the ways of the world. She could have been influenced or hurt by someone. Worst case scenarios scrolled through her mind, horrible images that made her blood race. Sheila paced through the kitchen, her ears attuned for sounds at the door while her mind considered what to do next.

Just the other day, Martha claimed that she was going to become a vegetarian. Sheila almost lost her mind.

“Why in the world would you become a vegetarian?”

“I don’t think it’s right to harm another creature so I can live.”

“Those creatures are there for us to consume. That’s the way it has always been and the way it will always be.”

She should go try and find Martha. The girl was her responsibility. Even more, she cared about her. Although, the thought of caring about someone was foreign. Her life had been built upon independence, fighting for everything she wanted and challenging anyone who dared take anything away. She was fierce, not caring.

And yet, her senses drowned in the tic toc of the clock.

Their arguments often ended with Martha stomping out of the room and slamming the door of her room while Sheila restrained herself. She was ready to tear that door off the hinges and give Martha a thrashing. There were times when, she was ready to let the girl wither away and die. Martha was so frail and weak that it wouldn’t take much. The girl’s eyes were colorless and dry from lack of nutrition.

As she calmed down, Sheila realized that she couldn’t let Martha die. Instead, she lied to her. Sheila knocked on her door.

“What do you want?”

“Your friend Tracy is here to see you”.

Martha was so excited, she barely dressed herself before running out the door. Sheila slammed it shut on Martha’s bewildered expression. Martha cried, begged and pleaded, but Sheila was firm.

“You must go eat. I won’t let you back in until you do.”

After a few muffled sobs and faint pounds on the door, Sheila looked outside to see that the girl had gone.

When Martha finally walked in the door two hours later, there was strength in her step. Her skin looked radiant and fresh and her eyes had changed. They were a healthy red once again.

Sheila hugged Martha and said,

“You’ve completed your first kill. I’m so proud of you. Want to help me get something?”

Martha smiled, fangs revealed beneath her upper lip. Her mouth was red with the blood of her victim. She nodded eagerly and they left for the hunt.


15 thoughts on “Eyes of Red

  1. Nice job of hiding the fangs and such to the end — I thought the girl had an eating disorder. Although, if it is her first kill, the second-to-last sentence doesn’t make sense (her latest kill).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had my suspicions something wasn’t quite right when the narrator referred to Martha as “the girl” more than once. I used to read a lot of horror and vampire stories so I tend to pick them out. That’s okay I still enjoyed this. I liked the how knowing for sure what was going on in the end gave new light to the “they are there for us to consume”. It was an odd turn of phrase to begin with, but totally makes sense. For me, The girl gave in a bit easily when she came back. I expected her to go to her room and slam it and continue her emo ways and not admit to being comfortably full.

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  3. The foreshadowing isn’t too heavy-handed, which was very nicely done. There were a lot of things to pick out on re-read. I’m wondering, though, if they really are “mother and daughter” – the voice suggests a maternal relationship, but that’s also the sort of relationship a mentor is expected to have with their… hm, I don’t know what vocabulary you’d choose, but neophyte?

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  4. The way you used “the girl” really helped describe their relationship without describing it, if you see what I mean. It was a smart way to demonstrate the emotional distance between the two. It’s not until Martha makes her first kill that that distance disappears. Nicely done.

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  5. I found myself wondering about their relationship, and in fact since you used “the girl” I didn’t think she was her mother but I didn’t know who she was. I also couldn’t see her tossing her out if she was so weak. That only made sense at the end. I didn’t see the twist coming, so good job on that 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I found this to be a very “inviting” short story, with excellent chronological events leading to the interpretation in the plot. Nice work, look forward to reading more of your stories!

    Liked by 1 person

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